Anne B. Young, MD, PhD, is a researcher and clinician whose work at the bench and bedside has concentrated on neurotransmitter systems in the basal ganglia and their role in Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
She holds membership in both the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians in England.
Dr. Young is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Vassar College who completed her medical studies at Johns Hopkins in 1973. She received a PhD in pharmacology from Johns Hopkins in 1974, and then completed residency training in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco.
After residency, she joined the neurology faculty at the University of Michigan, where she advanced to professor in 1985. In 1991, she was recruited to Mass General as chief of the neurology service and Julieanne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Young stepped down from her position as chief in May 2012.
As a researcher, Dr. Young provided some of the first evidence that glutamic acid is a neurotransmitter. Subsequently, she and her colleagues identified glutamate as a transmitter of corticostriatal and corticospinal tracts. Her laboratory first described techniques to measure subtypes of glutamate receptors autoradiographically and went on to demonstrate receptor alterations in Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease.
Along with her late husband, John B. Penney, Jr., MD, Dr. Young first conceptualized a model of the functional anatomy of the basal ganglia that has been termed the "classical" model.
Dr. Young's research work includes elucidating cellular and systems mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease. She is spearheading an effort at Mass General to accelerate the discovery of effective therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.
Dr. Young has served on the editorial boards of numerous biomedical journals and she has been the recipient of many awards and honors for her work. She is a member of the scientific advisory boards of several voluntary organizations, and the past President of the American Neurological Association and the Society for Neuroscience.
In June 2015, Dr. Young received an honorary membership award which recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of movement disorders or otherwise to the Movement Disorder Society.